Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody!
My name is Alisha.
In this lesson, I'm going to talk about using "should."
I'm going to explain using should for the past and for the future, so I'm going to introduce how you make statements and questions for "past tense use of should," and I'm gonna talk about the same thing for "future tense uses of should."
So, let's begin!
I want to start this lesson by talking about the past tense version.
When we use "should in the past, in a positive statement," we do it to express regret. So "regret" means a sorry feeling or a sad feeling. So it expresses regret for something that did not happen, so this is a key point here. Yes, it's a positive statement, but we're talking about something that did not happen and we feel sad about it.
So, to visualize this, I've created a timeline here with the past over here. Now, the present, our conversation and future. So, if you can imagine, when we make a positive statement with should in the past tense, we can imagine, it's something that did not happen, so it's before the present, before now, did not happen and we feel sad about it.
So, when we want to make a sentence like this, we can use a pattern such as this one. This is a very basic pattern. We can use [subject] plus "should" plus "have" and then [the past participle form of a verb]. So this part right here, this makes it a past tense statement. We'll see, this is quite different when we're making future tense statements. So, I'll show some examples of this in just a moment.
Let's compare this then to the negative form. When we make a negative statement using should in the past, it expresses regret, again, that sad feeling. It expresses regret for something that happened. So, yes, it's a negative sentence, but this action happened. It was real. So again, to imagine this visually, in the past, something actually did happen, so I used a check mark here. This is a true event, a real event, and we regret or there's some kind of sad feeling about that thing.
So, when we make sentences in the negative with this grammar point, we can use [subject] again plus "should." Here, we'll use "should not" and then complete this pattern with "have" and [the past participle verb]. So the only change here is using "not" when we make the negative. There's nothing here.
So, this is the basic kind of a statement structure for past tense statements with should. Then, I've added here a simple question structure, a simple information question structure here. We can use a Wh-question. Wh- means who, what, when, where, why, how, those kinds of things. So we use a Wh-question with "should" plus our [subject] "have" and [the past participle verb]. So, I'll explain a few examples of these in just a moment.
With this, I want to continue to the next part over here which is pronunciation tips.
So, you've noticed perhaps that "should" and "have' and "should not have" when people are speaking, these become reduced or this become much shorter. So, we'll hear these two used most commonly. We don't really say "should have" or "should not have," so clearly.
When we're making positive sentences, the most common reduction is this "should've." So "should've" is a "should" apostrophe VE, "should've." This "should" comes from "should have," so this "have," it's like we dropped the "ha-" part and just use the /ve/ sound, so "should've." To make it even shorter, you'll often hear people use "shoulda."
So this /a/ sound is like taking only this A here in "have," but it just becomes very short, "I shoulda." "I shouldna" is the negative form of this.
So let's continue on. As I've just said, "shouldn't have," we contract this "should not" here. "Should not" contracts to "shouldn't," "shouldn't have," but to make it even shorter, we often say "shouldna." So, positive, "shoulda;" negative, "shouldna."
So, let's take a look at some examples that use these patterns.
First, let's look at two positive statements.
"I should have studied more."
And "We should have gone to the store."
So here, we see "should" is followed by "have" and then the past participle form of the verb, in this case, "study" and "gone." So this shows us that we have a past tense statement. These statements express regret. So, when we're speaking quickly, we probably wouldn't say, "I should have studied more" or "We should have gone to the store." I would say, "I shoulda studied more" and "We shoulda gone to the store." So as I explained, this pronunciation is the most common one, "shoulda."
"I shoulda studied more."
"We shoulda gone to the store."
Let's compare this to two negative statements then.
"She shouldn't have done that."
So here, I've already reduced this, "shouldn't."
"She shouldn't have done that."
And, "You shouldn't have had so much to drink."
So again, these two express regret for something that did happen. So in both of these sentences, that something, whatever this is, this was a bad thing. The speaker thinks this was bad. In the second sentence as well, the speaker thinks this was a bad choice, so expressing regret about something that happened.
The, again, as I talked about here, I would reduce this even more. I've got "shouldn't" in both of these sentences, but in everyday speech, we would probably say, "She shouldna done that" and "You shouldna had so much to drink."
"You shouldna done that."
"You shouldna had so much to drink."
So this "shouldna" and "shoulda," these are key pronunciation points that will help you kind of in your listening and also to help you sound a little more natural.
Okay, let's finish this part by looking at two questions then.
First, "What should we have done differently?"
And, "Where should we have gone?"
So both of these, they maintain, they keep that feeling of regret. When you're using a question like this, you're asking about something it would have been better to do in the past. So, it's a question that means, an action happened yes and these questions are about improvements to that action. So here for example, "What should we have done differently?" "What should have done differently?" means, for example, the speaker or a group, here speaking made a decision, but perhaps, it was not the right decision or it was a bad decision. So the speaker is asking what choice, what should we have done differently is like saying, what do you think would have been better in the past? What should we have done differently?
Same thing in the second sentenceโ€ฆ
"Where should we have gone?"
So maybe the speaker went to the wrong location and they're asking for advice in the past. Of course, we cannot change this, but this is actually a common way that we ask for like future advice, so it's recognizing, oh, I made a mistake in the past, so maybe next time, I have a similar situation, what do you recommend, but we use this kind of grammar to ask these sorts of questions.
Like okay, in this caseโ€ฆ
"Where should I have gone?"
"What should we have done differently?"
So that you can think about that for the future.
So these are situations where you might use questions like these.
Okay, with that and with past tense, let's move on to looking at future uses of "should."
So, let's begin again with positive statements. So when we make a positive statement with should, we're expressing advice actually, so we don't have that regret feeling here. We're expressing advice and the speaker thinks this advice is a good idea.
So, again, to visualize it, here, we're looking at a different point in time. With the past, we were talking about something that's finished or something that did not happen. Here, we're talking about an action in the future. So here is my conversation now. When we make a positive statement with should, we're talking about something the speaker thinks is a good idea in the future, an upcoming thing so I've marked it with a check.
To make a positive statement, a simple pattern is your [subject] plus "should" and here, [the present tense form of your verb]. So in the past tense, we used this past participle form. Here, we're using the present tense form of the verb, so no verb changes necessary here.
Now, let's compare this to a negative statement. So, a negative statement with "should" also expresses advice, yes, but the speaker thinks it's a bad idea. This is a bad idea. So, positive, good idea; negative, bad idea, with "should."
Then, to make a negative statement, an advice statement about the future, we use [subject] plus "should not" and again, [the present tense form of the verb.] So you'll notice again, this is very similar to the past tense form. Just keep in mind, we also don't use "have." There's no "have" in present or rather, future forms of these.
Okay, then again, let's finish with a simple question pattern too.
When we make a question like an information question. We can begin with this Wh-question word plus "should" our [subject] and then [the present tense form of the verb]. So, this is a key point for the difference between these two. We're using different verb forms for future and past tenses.
Okay, let's move along then to some pronunciation points here. This one is much shorter than the past tense version, but when we're using "should" to make a positive statement, there's not really a change with "should." Here though, I would recommend to definitely use the reduced "shouldn't." It's going to sound more natural than "should not." So just a quick point here, try to use this "shouldn't" sound.
Okay, so let's look at some examples that use this.
Let's start with some positive expressions.
First, "You should find a new job."
And "He should work harder."
So, you'll notice here again, we have "should" plus our [present tense verb form] so "find" and "work" are both present tense verbs.
"You should find a new job."
"He should work harder."
So the speaker thinks, these are good ideas, so these are positive statements, positive advice bits, I guess.
Let's compare this to some negative statements then.
"She shouldn't give up."
And "You shouldn't eat so much junk food."
So these two are expressing something the speaker thinks is a bad idea.
So in the first sentence, "She shouldn't give up." In other words, to give up is bad or giving up is a bad idea.
In the second sentence, "You shouldn't eat so much junk food." You're saying, eating a lot of junk food is a bad idea. So, here, you'll notice maybe too, I've called this future, these are just kind of general life recommendations. I call it the future here because it's like saying, from now on, from this conversation on, this is my advice for you. So maybe, especially in a sentence like this, "You shouldn't eat so much junk food, maybe the speaker is looking at someone eating a lot of junk food and they give this advice, "You shouldn't eat so much junk food."
Okay, so let's finish then with a couple of questions.
So, common questions, first one...
"What should I do?"
A very common advice question.
And secondโ€ฆ
"When should we leave?
So a native-based, I would say, "What should I do?" and "When should we leave?"
So, these are common questions. These are asking for advice in the future, here. So asking what do you think, in other words. What's your opinion? What should I do? In other words, what do you think is a good idea for me for the future?
And in the second sentence, when should we leave? What time do you think is a good time to leave in the future? So, we can make these kinds of questions as well, givingโ€ฆ or rather, asking for future advice.
Okay, so that's a quick introduction to using "should" for past tense statements and questions and for future tense statements and questions. I hope that it helped you. Of course, if you have any other questions or if there's something else you'd like to know about this grammar point, please feel free to let us know in the comments of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 10:49 AM
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Hello there Natalia,


Thanks for taking the time to reply.


๐Ÿ˜„โค๏ธ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘


Feel free to shoot through any questions you have throughout your studies.


Cheers,

ร‰va

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Natalia Sh.
Thursday at 12:13 AM
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Dear EnglishClass101 and Alisha!

Thank you for so interesting explanation!

It's so clear!

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:24 PM
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Hello there @Ramon, @Bappi and @Fernanda,


Thank you all for your positive feedback!


It's always great to hear from our students.


Feel free to shoot through any questions you have throughout your studies.


Kind regards,

ร‰va

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Ramon Ferreira
Wednesday at 10:15 AM
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โค๏ธ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ thx!

Bappi Nandi
Wednesday at 03:02 AM
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I knew of using should as different way, but it is now clear. It will help me for daily conversation at Office.

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Please let us know if you have any questions.

Fernanda
Tuesday at 02:54 AM
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Hi Miss Alisha.

Thanks for the class. You made a superb job โค๏ธ๏ธ